June 12 – 15
June 12 – 15
Hidden Layers
AI & Design Conference
June 12 – 15, 2024
School of Design


Invited Guests

Ralf Baecker

University of the Arts BremenProfessor
Ralf Baecker is an artist working at the interface of art, science, and technology. Through installations, autonomous machines, and performances, he explores the underlying mechanisms of new media and technology. His objects perform physical realizations of thought experiments that act as subjective epistemological objects to pose fundamental questions about the digital, technology and complex systems and their entanglements with the socio-political sphere. Since 2016 he has been a Professor for Experimental Design/New Technologies at the University of Arts in Bremen.

Silvio Lorusso

Lusófona UniversityAssistant Professor
Silvio Lorusso is a writer, artist and designer based in Lisbon, Portugal. He published Entreprecariat (Onomatopee) in 2019 and What Design Can't Do (Set Margins') in 2023. Lorusso is an assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Other Worlds at the Lusófona University in Lisbon and a tutor at the Information Design department of Design Academy Eindhoven. He holds a Ph.D. in Design Sciences from the Iuav University of Venice.

Roland Meyer

Ruhr University BochumPostdoc Researcher
Roland Meyer is a media and visual culture scholar specializing in the history and theory of networked image cultures. He is currently a postdoc researcher in the Collaborative Research Centre Virtual Lifeworlds at Ruhr University Bochum. His most recent publication, Bilder unter Verdacht: Praktiken der Bildforensik (Berlin 2023), is a guest-edited volume of the series Bildwelten des Wissens. In July 2024, he will take on the DIZH Bridge Professorship in Digital Cultures and Arts at both the University of Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts.

Joana Moll

Academy of Media Arts CologneSubstitute Professor
She is a Barcelona / Berlin based artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way techno-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research topics include Internet materiality, surveillance, online tracking, social profiling, and interfaces. She has presented her work in renowned institutions, museums, universities and festivals around the world. She is the co-founder of the Critical Interface Politics Research Group at HANGAR [Barcelona]. She's been a research fellow at BBVA Foundation, a fellow at The Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin, and an artistic researcher in residence at the Critical Media Lab at HGK in Basel. Currently, she holds a professorship position in the Art Department at KHM in Cologne, is a visiting lecturer at Escola Elisava in Barcelona, and a fellow at Disruption Netwok Lab Insitute in Berlin.

Maria-Teresa de Rosa Palmini

University of ZurichPhD Student
Since February 2024, Maria-Teresa is a PhD Student at the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Athens and a Master's degree in Computational Linguistics from the University of Konstanz. Her current research, under the guidance of Dr. Eva Cetinić, seeks to unravel the diverse cultural, ethical, and societal implications of advancing multimodal deep learning models. Specifically, her work focuses on examining the explainability and potential biases of these models, alongside their capabilities in risk mitigation, cultural analysis, and artistic exploration.

Jasmin Riebel

Mainz University of Applied SciencesDesign Researcher
Jasmin is a designer and design researcher with a great passion for creativity in all its facets. After several years working in the creative industries, where she held positions in design, copywriting, brand strategy, and design thinking, she now works in academia. Her current research focuses on methods and tools to support interdisciplinary teams during the ideation phase of data-intensive software projects. Jasmin holds a B.A. in Communication Design (University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and an M.A. in Creativity & Innovation (University of Malta).

Pamela C. Scorzin

Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and ArtsProfessor
Pamela C. Scorzin is an Italian-born Professor of Art Studies and Visual Culture at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. She also serves as the Vice Dean of the Design Department and is an art critic who is a member of AICA. Pam has been a guest editor for two themed volumes of the KUNSTFORUM International series: "Kann KI Kunst? AI ART: New Positions and Technified Aesthetics" (vol. 278, 2021) and "Mixed Realities. New realities in art" (vol. 290, 2023). Her research interests include scenography, fashion art, artificial intelligence, and mixed realities. She divides her time between Dortmund, Milan, and Los Angeles. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok under the username @LevaniaLehr.

Claudia Sevivas

IADE - Creative UniversityProfessor Auxiliar
Cláudia Sevivas holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. She conducted post-doctoral research at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences focused on documenting artistic projects in contemporary dance, where she explored the use of 3D motion capture systems with the aim of developing new representations and visualizations of movement. Subsequently, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Faculty of Sciences where she trained and developed deep learning algorithms for emotion recognition in images. She is currently a professor and coordinator of the game development bachelor's degree at IADE - Creative University.

Conrad Weise

Independent Designer & Researcher
Conrad Weise is a Cologne/Cluj based designer and researcher. In his work he looks at socio-political settings where he locates computation and its implications. Through investigative and computational approaches from within these systems, his works attempt to contextualise the intransparent and uncertain arrangements.

Kjell Wistoff

Independent Artist & Integrated Designer
Kjell Wistoff is an investigative artist & integrated designer with a focus on interaction. Especially contemporary technologies in a socio-political context stake out his fields of interest. Resorting to a grassroot activist approach, he is working with – and against – these technologies.

Laura Wagner

University of ZurichResearch Associate & PhD Student
Laura is a former project member of the research project KITeGG with a background in interdisciplinary design. Since 2024 she pursues her PhD at University of Zurich. Her research is embedded within the project "The Canon of Latent Spaces: How Large AI Models Encode Art and Culture" and focuses on investigating the implications of creating and sharing highly personalized, open-source text-to-image/video generative AI models. This research effort aims to identify how broader systemic issues, such as the practice of appropriating unlicensed and/or violent material in open-source multi-modal AI systems, might cascade into the communities that adopt, modify and share them.

KITeGG Organizational Team

Lasse Scherffig

Köln International School of DesignProfessor Interaction Design
Lasse Scherffig is a professor of Interaction Design at Köln International School of Design. He has directed the Art and Technology department at San Francisco Art Institute and taught at Bauhaus University Weimar and Academy of Media Arts Cologne. His work has been published and exhibited internationally. With a background in Cognitive Science and Computer Science, he is interested in the past, present and future of computation and interaction.

Matthias Grund

KITeGGResearch Associate
Matthias Grund is an artist, designer and researcher. He runs an independent creative practice and conducts artistic research focusing on (synthetic) images. Matthias holds a B.A. & M.A. in Integrated Design from Köln International School of Design and has studied internationally in New York, Tokyo and Cologne. His work has been shown at institutions such as the HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm and the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne (MAKK), as well as at various symposia and academic conferences. He is currently a research associate in the federally funded research project "KITeGG" on artificial intelligence in design and art education.

Jakob Kilian

KITeGGResearch Associate
Jakob is interaction designer, interdisciplinary researcher and maker. His primary materials are code, actuators and sensors, his work meanders between design, cognitive science, engineering and empirical research. He uses prototypes as vehicles for exploration and conception as well as for iterative development and evaluation. He currently works as a research associate and lecturer at KISD (Cologne University of Applied Sciences) in the federally funded research project "KITeGG" on artificial intelligence in design and art education.

Dzennifer Zachlod

KITeGGResearch Associate
Dzennifer Zachlod is an interdisciplinary media artist from Cologne, specializing in integrating AI tools like StyleGAN and WarpFusion into her creative work. She currently works on her bachelor thesis and works as an research assistant in the federally funded research project "KITeGG". Her Bachelor's thesis, "I will rather lose my job to AI than my dad," critically examines AI and labor market myths. She continues to explore the impact of emerging technologies in her artistic practice.

Hidden Layers Conference Team

Leon Schniewind

Köln International School of DesignVisiting Lecturer
Leon Schniewind is a Cologne based graphic designer with a focus on visual identities. He founded his own studio, dipshop in 2023, after he has been visual director of documenta fifteen (2022). His scientific paper Blank – Eine rezeptionsästhetische Praxis was published in the rrrreflect Journal at KISDedition. His work has been exhibited at Cologne Passagen (2019 & 2020).

Hidden Layers

Köln International School of DesignStudent Team
The backbone and heart of the conference: The Hidden Layers student team consisting of Aileen Estrada Sanchez, Lukas Martin Besch, Citraningsih Sophia Amongsari, Carmen Alina Schneider, Christian Wild von Hohenborn, Fabiane Alves de Lima, Ida Libourkine, Katrina Kizenbaha, Melissa Mattos de Oliveira, Patricio Javier Artengo Aguado, Phillip Schulz, Tyanka Demyanka Adrian, Tom Konstantin Thielen, José Antonio Avila Villegas, Arda Kertmen & Annika Walter were responsible for the infrastructure, hospitality, visual communication, exhibition development and everything else needed to make this event happen.

Dark Ecology

Köln International School of DesignExhibiting Artists
Iara Yael Rios Ramírez, Neda Aslahmadizadeh, Xiaofeng Ni, Axelle Julien & Clara Emmerling, Felix Willen, Max Schmalenbach & Luiz Siqueira, Pourya Sharifi and Tyanka Demyanka Adrian present works inspired by the idea of the botanical garden and draws on its concept of "science and pleasure," on human-made nature, and modernity's obsession with taxonomies that bring order to the strangeness of the world. Developed in loose collaboration with students from the University of Art and Design Halle (Prof. Thomas Hawranke), the works in this exhibition develop diverse approaches to artificial nature, bridge the different time-scales of human and plant life, and discuss old and new representations and narratives of the "natural" and the "artificial".

Motion Experience Lab (MXL) Team

Nina Juric

Köln International School of DesignProfessor "Image & Motion"
Nina Juric is a media artist, designer, creative technologist, mother and integrated design professor in the faculty of cultural studies of the TH Köln in Cologne. At Köln International School of Design she is responsible for the area of Image & Motion. Here, she founded the Motion Experience Lab as an experimental production studio dedicated to practice based design research and audio-visual experiments as a scaffolding environment for teaching and experiential learning. Her expertise covers the field of art, motion, design, film and immersive experiences since over 20 years and co-founded Letters Are My Friends in Berlin.

Marko Bodenstein

Köln International School of DesignTechnical Director "MXL"
Marko Bodenstein is technically supporting the Motion Experience Lab as a part-time employee since 2022. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Game Architecture and Design (NHTV Breda Academy of Applied Sciences) and is specialized in Unreal Engine, Unity and general 3D Visual Art & Productions. His interest in virtual production and his experience in worldbuilding & animation, 3D scanning (Lidar & Photogrammetry) and interactive art installations led him to KISD’s area of expertise Image & Motion. He has been working as a freelancer in the fields of 3D graphics and game development and has recently been involved in the production of livestream events in various areas.

Henning Brode

Code & ContextStudent Assistant
Henning Brode is a creative technologist who has always explored the depths of visual worlds and found his creative expression in them. Trained in the worlds of film and television, he now expands his work with code-based systems and procedural design. At the boundary between computer-based technologies and nature-inspired art, he spans dimensions of immersive experiences and multimedia installations in space and time. He explores the relationship of human interactions with machine algorithms to reveal new fields of action and dimensions in extended reality. He is currently a student assistant at Motion Experience Lab and supports students with his expertise in TouchDesigner and interconnected media systems.

Motion Experience Lab

Köln International School of DesignStudent Team
The Motion Experience Lab is a hybrid playground environment @KISD for creation and research, with a focus on artistic practice of augmented motion in the context of performative interaction and interdisciplinary media studies. Students conduct hands-on research through design in high-low-tech environments on prototypes and artifacts, exploring aspects of movement, creating audiovisuality, spatial performance, interactive worldbuilding, and experiences. This space is dedicated to creative tech like embedded audio-visual systems, generative design tools, expanded computer animation, real time imagery with body action, code and programming or performing arts and cultural media science - always to experiment on time-in-space-complexities and so called ‘interface performances’. The student team consists of Anastasia König, Omid Akbari Kharazi, Carolin Victoria Saddey, Irena Arndt, Nicolai Rehberg, Annika Walter, Lukas Marvin Kostka, Tim Klünker, Leo Maria Althoff, Laura Fleischer, Pia Bernards, Kirill Solovev, Paul Kimmerl, Carlos Andres Luis Strohm, Léon Amir Scheunemann, Victor Thrane Kolling, and Muhammad Danial Sohail. Supervised by Nina Juric, Marko Bodenstein and Henning Brode.

Code & Context BA Team

Laura Popplow

Köln International School of DesignProfessor "Designing Technological Futures"
Laura Popplow is Professor for Designing _______ Futures at KISD and is part of the Code & Context study program. She has worked collaboratively and across disciplines for nearly two decades. With a background in cultural studies and media art and design she has co-organized a program for interactive Media at University Wuppertal and has taught design and transdisciplinary practice internationally. She holds a PhD in design and media research (University of Art and Design Linz) and is an experimental design researcher in the fields of participatory and transformation design.

Code & Context BA

TH KölnStudent Group
Code & Context is an interdisciplinary BA program combining coding, design and entrepreneurship at the TH Köln. The program is based on peer learning and interdisciplinary study projects. Students learn to find their role between project organization, coding and designing prototypes and the process of minimum viable product development. With a strong focus on artifacts, the digital is always part of things and contexts. Cultural, social and political contexts play a pivotal role and are reflected in every prototyping process. During the Hidden Layers conference the 5th generation of students will develop a social intervention to inspire conversations amongst the participants of the conference.